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CNN —  

There you are, drooling over the latest game trailer or reading up on a shiny new software application that perfectly addresses that ultra-specific need you’ve been itching to scratch for so long, when the words suddenly hit you: “For PC Only.”

For the Mac user, it’s an experience that’s less common than it used to be, sure – but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t still happen. And for the Windows or Linux user, pining after macOS and its program offerings has, on the other hand, become commonplace. Maybe the grass really is always greener on the other side. Still, as any IT manager or developer can tell you, there are plenty of other reasons – beyond mere envy or operating system exclusivity – as to why running Windows on a Mac (or vice versa!) comes in handy.

Enter VMware, purveyor of virtual machine (VM) software, and its VMware Fusion 11 Pro ($159.99; vmware.com) application, which allows you to run “virtualized” operating systems and related programs right from your macOS desktop window.

VMware Workstation 15 Pro ($249.99; vmware.com) is the PC/Linux version, which does the same thing but in mirror image – enabling users of Windows or Linux to run macOS right from their desktops, along with all Mac applications or games.

And now CNN Underscored readers can get an exclusive 25% off on both Workstation Pro & Fusion Pro from June 19 until June 25, 2019, with the coupon code CNN25. And yes, the promotion covers both new licenses and upgrades. Score!

If you’ve never heard of or used “virtual machine” (VM) software, don’t worry: It’s understandable to be a little mystified.

The basic gist is this: Using an app like Fusion 11 Pro allows macOS users to open a copy of Windows, Linux or other additional versions of macOS (this is often used to test apps or programs in development) right on your desktop. You don’t have to switch to another computer and you don’t have to shut down to reboot into another operating system. There’s no mess and no fuss: Simply launch Fusion 11 Pro and another operation system boots up in a window, just like all the other programs you’re already used to.

VMware Workstation 15 Pro does the same thing, but for Windows and Linux users.

That means easily switching between various programs and operating systems, which, in a gaming context, means hopping from, say, a PC-exclusive game to a Mac-exclusive one and back again. For developers and IT managers, virtualization means the ability to easily view how products look in different environments, or keep certain crucial legacy programs going without having to keep a Windows or Mac or Linux computer from, say, 1995, moldering in the corporate basement.

And thanks to constant improvements and updates from VMware, you can rest assured both Fusion Pro and Workstation Pro will continue to deliver great value and functionality. After all, the company has a rock-solid reputation for doing just that.

Couple that reputation with the aforementioned 25%-off sale, and there may be no better time to dip your toes into the virtualization revolution.